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Tiglath Pileser I

Tiglath Pileser I

Tiglath Pileser I (reigned 1115-1076 BCE), an Assyrian king of the period known as the Middle Empire, revitalized the economy and the military that had been suffering, more or less, since the death of the king Tukulti Ninurta I (1244-1208 BCE). The old kings like Adad-Nirari I, Shalmaneser I, and Tukulti-Ninurta I had expanded the empire out from the city of Ashur and filled the royal treasuries with wealth from their conquests. The kings following Tukulti-Ninurta I, however, had been content with maintaining the empire as they inherited it, without improving or expanding on their inheritance, and so steadily lost territory to invading tribes or rebellious factions within the empire. The historian Susan Wise Bauer comments on this writing, “Tiglath Pileser wanted more. He was the first warlike king since Shalmaneser, eight generations and a hundred years earlier. He turned against the invaders and used their attacks to take more land for himself. And for a brief period – a little under forty years – Assyria regained something like its previous luminescence” (287). He campaigned widely throughout his reign with his army, initiated great building projects, and furthered the process of building a collection of books at the library of Ashur by gathering cuneiform tablets from throughout the empire.

He was a literate man who composed the first royal annals and is best known as the king who expanded the territory of the Assyrians to the extent that it truly could be called an empire. Prior to his reign, as the historian Paul Kriwaczek notes, “Assyria grew in territory, piece by piece, though with frequent reverses, to reach a first high point in the 1120's, when the king, Tiglath Pileser I, crossed the Euphrates, captured the great city of Carchemish, and reached both the Black Sea and the Mediterranean, for the first time creating an Assyrian Empire” (223). His reign was a single bright spot in the history of the empire at this time, however, and his gains would be lost by his successors who returned to the policies of containment which his predecessors had followed.

In every aspect of his reign, Tiglath Pileser I focused on a policy best expressed by Latin poet Lucius Accius: Oderint dum Metuant – Let them hate, so long as they fear.

Reign & Military Campaigns

Tiglath Pileser I began his reign by repairing the temples that had been neglected and gaining support among the people by constructing new ones. In his inscriptions he writes of devoting himself first to the gods and their will. He writes,

In the beginning of my reign, Anu and Vul, the great gods, my Lords, guardians of my steps, they invited me to repair this their shrine. So I made bricks; I levelled the earth, I took its dimensions; I laid down its foundations upon a mass of strong rock. This place throughout its whole extent I paved with bricks in set order, 50 feet deep I prepared the ground, and upon this substructure I laid the lower foundations of the temple of Anu and Vul. From its foundations to its roofs I built it up, better than it was before. I also built two lofty cupolas in honor of their noble godships, and the holy place, a spacious hall, I consecrated for the convenience of their worshippers, and to accommodate their votaries, who were numerous as the stars of heaven, and in quantity poured forth like flights of arrows. I repaired, and built, and completed my work. Outside the temple I fashioned everything with the same care as inside. The mound of earth on which it was built I enlarged like the firmament of the rising stars, and I beautified the entire building. Its cupolas I raised up to heaven, and its roofs I built entirely of brick. An inviolable shrine for their noble godships I laid down near at hand. Anu and Vul, the great gods, I glorified inside, I set them up on their honored purity, and the hearts of their noble godships I delighted. Bit-Khamri, the temple of my Lord Vul, which Shansi-Vul, High-priest of Ashur, son of Ismi-Dagan, High-priest of Ashur, had founded, became ruined. I levelled its site, and from its foundation to its roofs I built it up of brick, I enlarged it beyond its former state, and I adorned it. Inside of it I sacrificed precious victims to my Lord Vul.

Although human sacrifice was not practiced by the Assyrians, the above reference (and others like it in his inscriptions) seems to indicate that Tiglath Pileser I instituted ritual human sacrifice as part of his policy of instilling terror in his enemies and awe in his subjects. Once he had taken care of the temples and commissioned other building projects, he mounted his first campaign c. 1112 BCE against the Mushku people who had claimed Assyrian territory for themselves. He then conquered the country of Comukha (Anatolia), defeating the Nairi people and then marched on the region of Eber Nari (modern Syria and the Levant) and conquered it as well. He writes,

In the beginning of my reign 20,000 of the Muskayans and their 5 kings, who for 50 years had held the countries of Alza and Perukhuz, without paying tribute and offerings to Ashur my Lord, and whom a King of Assyria had never ventured to meet in battle betook themselves to their strength, and went and seized the country of Comukha. In the service of Ashur my Lord my chariots and warriors I assembled after me . the country of Kasiyaia, a difficult country, I passed through. With their 20,000 fighting men and their 5 kings in the country of Comukha I engaged. I defeated them. The ranks of their warriors in fighting the battle were beaten down as if by the tempest. Their carcasses covered the valleys and the tops of the mountains. I cut off their heads. The battlements of their cities I made heaps of, like mounds of earth, their movables, their wealth, and their valuables I plundered to a countless amount. 6,000 of their common soldiers who fled before my servants and accepted my yoke, I took them, and gave them over to the men of my own territory. Then I went into the country of Comukha, which was disobedient and withheld the tribute and offerings due to Ashur my Lord: I conquered the whole country of Comukha. I plundered their movables, their wealth, and their valuables. Their cities I burnt with fire, I destroyed and ruined.

He had defeated the Aramaeans of Eber Nari (though they would continue to present a problem for him and, later, his successors) and taken Anatolia, then the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar I made incursions into Assyrian territory and claimed he had conquered the land of the Amorites (the land of Eber Nari). This scenario was very similar to the one centuries before when the Babylonian king Kashtiliash had taken Assyrian border territories and called down upon himself the wrath of Tukulti Ninurta I. Tiglath Pileser I reacted in the same way and drove his army against the cities of Babylonia, capturing Babylon and destroying the central palace. He did not make the same mistake as Tukulti Ninurta I, however, and left the temples of the gods alone.

According to the historian Gwendolyn Leick, Tiglath Pileser I “was one of the most important Assyrian kings of this period, largely because of his wide-ranging military campaigns, his enthusiasm for building projects, and his interest in cuneiform tablet collections…He also issued a legal decree, the so-called Middle Assyrian Laws” (171). These laws presented the king as the administrator of the will of the gods – which was no different from earlier law codes such as the Code of Hammurabi – but the severity of their punishments was far greater. In these laws, as in every aspect of his reign, Tiglath Pileser I focused on a policy best expressed by the phrase of the later Latin poet Lucius Accius: Oderint dum Metuant – Let them hate, so long as they fear (a line made infamous by the Roman emperor Caligula). Not only were the penalties severe, however, they seemed especially so for women.

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The Laws & Misogyny

The laws are inscribed on tablets discovered at the site of the ancient city of Ashur. Kriwaczek notes that:

The most immediately striking aspects of these laws are how harsh and cruel they seem compared even to Hammurabi's `eye-for-an-eye' code, and how deep is the misogyny that they express. Punishments include severe beatings, horrific mutilations and ghastly methods of capital punishment – flaying alive or impalement on a stake for instance, the original model for Roman crucifixions. This is prescribed as the punishment for a woman who procures an abortion: `If a woman has procured a miscarriage by her own act, when they have prosecuted her and convicted her, they shall impale her on stakes without burying her. If she died in having the miscarriage, they shall impale her on stakes without burying her.' For damaging a man's fertility the penalty is mutilation: `If a woman has crushed a gentleman's testicle in a brawl, they shall cut off one finger of hers. If the other testicle has become affected along with it by catching the infection, even though a physician has bound it up, or she has crushed the other testicle in a brawl, they shall tear out both her eyes.' Adultery [by a woman] is either a capital offence or punishable by disfiguration. (224).

Kriwaczek, and other scholars, have observed that it is unclear how often these punishments were meted out but, considering the social structure of the Middle Empire period, especially concerning women, they were quite likely imposed fairly regularly. Women had very little rights under the Middle Empire. They were responsible for their husbands' actions, his debts, and his crimes but could take no credit for his honors or achievements; husbands, on the other hand, bore no responsibility for the actions, debts, or crimes of their wives. Kriwaczek writes, “While no ancient society we know of could be truthfully described as a feminist paradise, Middle Assyrian regulations went far further in their oppression of women than any before” (225). This suppression of women's rights seems to correspond to the development of monotheism in Assyrian theology. As the empire grew, the central deity of the Assyrians, Ashur, could no longer only be worshipped in his temple in the city of Ashur. He had to become portable and became so by the recognition that the gods of all the conquered territories were actually only Ashur by other names. Instead of a local god who was worshipped in his temple, Ashur became the supreme god who could be worshipped anywhere because he was transcendent. As the concept of God became further removed from the natural world, the status of women declined. The reason for this has been debated for years but it could be as simple as what Kriwaczek suggests:

While males can delude themselves and each other that they are outside, above, and superior to nature, women cannot so distance themselves, for their physiology makes them clearly and obviously part of the natural world. They bring forth children from out of their wombs and produce food for their babies from their breasts. Their menstrual cycles link them to the moon. In today's society the notion that, for women, biology is destiny is rightly regarded as abhorrent. In Assyrian times, it was a self-evident fact that debarred them from full humanity (230).

The unequal status of women in Assyrian society at this time was most fully illustrated in the laws and, as noted, they were responsible not only for their own behavior but that of their husbands. Men would also be punished, however, if they witnessed a woman behaving badly, or going out in public improperly dressed, and did nothing to report her to authorities. Many of these types of laws had to do with women wearing – or not wearing – veils. Wives, widows, sacred prostitutes, concubines, and daughters of nobility had to appear in public veiled. Slave women, daughters of slaves, and common prostitutes were not to veil themselves. A woman who went out into the street wearing a veil she was not entitled to would have her ears cut off. A man who saw a woman wearing a veil she was not supposed to have – or behaving in any other way deemed unacceptable – had to report that woman to the authorities instantly or risk 50 lashes, mutilation, and enslavement for a month.

Death & Dissolution of the Empire

Tiglath Pileser I probably died in his old age of natural causes. Although there are historians who theorize that he may have been murdered, there seems scant evidence for this in the primary sources. During his reign he enlarged the empire and imported animals from different lands to the region around Ashur, possibly creating an early zoo in the city. Leick notes that, “He was also one of the first Assyrian kings to commission parks and gardens stocked with foreign and native trees and plants” (171). He was a notable hunter who claimed to have killed 920 lions and a narwhal among other animals. His law codes were held in esteem by his subjects and his royal annals emphasized his might and skill in battle. Further, he compiled a library of significant size and scope at Ashur. All of these accomplishments elevated his name in the works of later Assyrian scribes, and he was known as a truly great king. Later rulers such as Tiglath Pileser II and Tiglath Pileser III took his name in an effort to link themselves with the great monarch of the past.

Even so, Tiglath Pileser I's conquests would not outlive the king himself. Although his campaigns were far-ranging and brought in great wealth, he never established Assyrian rule firmly in the conquered territories. It was the force of his own personality that held his empire together and, with his death, it began to break apart. He was succeeded by his son, Asharid-apal-ekur, who continued his policies but made no advancements. When he died after two years, the throne was assumed by his brother Ashur-bel-kala who was challenged by a usurper and plunged the region into civil war. This turmoil allowed the regions that had not already left the empire to disengage and declare their autonomy. The Aramaeans, who had never been completely conquered, now rose against the Assyrians and took back the lands of the west. Assyria entered a period of stasis in which the rulers held on to whatever territories they could but did little else. The empire dwindled and would stagnate until the rise of the king Adad Nirari II (912-891 BCE) who again revitalized Assyria and initiated the Neo-Assyrian Empire, which would become the greatest political and military entity of the Near East for the next three centuries.


Tiglath Pileser I - History


Records of the Past, 2nd series, Vol. II , ed. by A. H. Sayce, [1888], at sacred-texts.com

THE STANDARD INSCRIPTION OF ASSUR-NATSIR-PAL

This long inscription of Assur-natsir-pal, inscribed in various forms across the bas-reliefs of his palace, ranks next in geographical importance to the annals of Tiglath-Pileser I. Assur-natsir-pal reigned from B.C. 883 to B.C. 858, more than 200 years after his illustrious predecessor. But this interval of 200 years was almost a blank in the history of Assyria. It witnessed the rise of no great king or conqueror indeed it would seem that the feeble successors of Tiglath-Pileser lost territory rather than gained it. With Assur-natsir-pal, however, a new era commenced. Once more the armies of Nineveh went forth to conquer, and once more it was towards the north and the west that their marches were usually directed. The Armenian kingdoms on the north, Carchemish and Syria to the west, were the main objects of attack.

Tiglath-Pileser had been unable to penetrate beyond the Hittite fortress of Carchemish, and force the fords of the Euphrates which it protected. If he made his way further to the west it was along the

northern range of mountains which led him into Kilikia or to the fertile plain of Malatiyeh. But Assur-natsir-pal was attended with better fortune. The merchant princes of Carchemish had in his day lost their ancient prowess and military spirit, and they were glad to buy off the threatened attack of the Assyrians with a rich bribe. Assur-natsir-pal left Carchemish in his rear and pressed onward towards Phœnicia and the Mediterranean coast. In the time of his son and successor Shalmaneser II, Assyria has already entered within the horizon of the western nations, and has come into contact, not only with the kings of Damascus, but with the kings of Israel as well.

The annals of Assur-natsir-pal present us with an invaluable picture of Western Asia in the ninth century before our era, before Assyrian conquest had as yet changed the political map of the country. It is interesting to compare it with the picture presented by the annals of Tiglath-Pileser two centuries earlier. It is chiefly in the Armenian highlands that a change has taken place, or, it may be, is in process of taking place. The land of Nahri or "the rivers" of Tiglath-Pileser has shifted its position and has passed from the districts at the sources of the Tigris and Euphrates to the southern shores of Lake Van. 1 The rise of the kingdom of Ararat or Van, which was destined to play a considerable part in the future history of Western Asia, was, it would appear, the immediate

consequence of the campaigns of Assur-natsir-pal in the north. The cuneiform inscriptions of Armenia begin with Sari-duris I, the antagonist of Shalmaneser II, the son and successor of Assur-natsir-pal, and are not only written in the syllabary of Nineveh, but are modelled on the inscriptions of the Assyrian king. As the city of Dhuspas or Van was founded by Sari-duris, while his father Lutipri is never given the title of king, it is probable that he was the founder of a new dynasty as well as of a new kingdom. At all events Arrame, who appears in the annals of Shalmaneser as the predecessor of Sari-duris, had his capital at Arzaskun, to the west of Lake Van and at a long distance from what was afterwards the central point of the kingdom of Ararat. The wars of Assur-natsir-pal and Shalmaneser not only introduced Assyrian civilisation into the north, but also resulted in the union of a number of small principalities into a single monarchy, which, under the varying names of Ararat and Armenia, long continued to fill an important place in Asiatic history.

On the whole, however, when the veil which lies for two centuries over the map of Western Asia is lifted, we see that few changes have taken place in it. On the east the Kurdish mountains are still held by wild and independent tribes, who form a barrier between the inhabitants of the valley of the Tigris and the Aryan population of Media. South of them comes the ancient and cultured kingdom of Elam, stretching from its capital of Susa to the shores of

the Persian Gulf. The valley of the Euphrates is occupied by the Babylonian monarchy, whose history and civilisation mount back into the night of time, and whose armies had penetrated to the shores of the Mediterranean, and even to the distant island of Cyprus, ages before the very name of Assyria had been known. The western bank of the Euphrates is the home of the Bedouin ’Sukhi or Shuhites, who extend from the vicinity of Carchemish to the frontiers of Babylonia and the intervening district of Mesopotamia is filled with flourishing cities, each governed by a prince who claims jurisdiction over a small tract of surrounding country. They all belong to the Semitic family, and to the north press hard upon the Hittites, who are already in full retreat towards their old homes in the Taurus mountains. Carchemish, however, now Jerablûs, with its command of the caravan trade from east to west, is still in their hands.

Westward of them are the Patinians, a tribe of Hittite origin, whose territory stretches from Khazaz (now Azaz), near Aleppo, across the Afrin to Mount Amanus, with its forests of cedars, and to the shores of the Gulf of Antioch. But south of the Patinians we are again among the Semites. The sea coast is held by the wealthy trading cities of the Phœnicians, foremost among them being Arvad and Gebal, Sidon and Tyre while Syria proper is divided into two kingdoms, that of Hamath, which has ceased to be Hittite, and that of Damascus. Damascus had risen upon the ruins of David's empire, which for a brief

space had extended from the Gulf of Aqabah to the banks of the Euphrates. With Damascus, Samaria was brought into close relation, sometimes friendly, but more usually hostile. Its first mention on the Assyrian monuments, however, is in connection with the battle of Qarqar in B.C. 853, when "Ahab of Israel" sent a contingent to the help of Hadadezer or Ben-hadad against his Assyrian assailants.

The wars of Assur-natsir-pal, like most of those of the first Assyrian empire, did not lead to permanent conquest or annexation. They were little more than raids, carried on partly for the sake of plunder, partly in order to exalt the glory and power of the great god Assur, partly to open a road to the west for the merchants of Nineveh. It is possible also that the wars against the hardy mountaineers of Kurdistan or Armenia were intended to prevent the latter from descending into the fields of Assyria and disturbing their more peaceful neighbours. It was not until the rise of the second Assyrian empire, until the age of Tiglath-Pileser III, of Sargon and of Sennacherib, that Assyrian conquest meant absorption into a single great organised power.

Assur-natsir-pal, whose name signifies "Assur has defended the son," was the son and successor of Tiglath-Uras II, and was himself succeeded by his son Shalmaneser after a reign of twenty-five years. His "Standard Inscription" proved of high value in the early days of cuneiform decipherment, on account of the numerous variants presented by the different

copies of it which we possess. It has been partly published in Layard's Inscriptions in the Cuneiform Character, pll. 1󈝷, and more fully and accurately in the Cuneiform Inscriptions of Western Asia, vol. i. pll. 17󈞆.

The translation of it given in the first series of Records of the Past (vol. iii. pp. 37󈞼) belongs to the earlier days of Assyrian study, and it has therefore become necessary to replace it by one more accurate and trustworthy. Not only is it now possible to identify the chief localities mentioned in the text, but the progress of Assyrian philology has also made it possible to translate the text with a precision which fifteen years ago was unattainable. Like most of the historical inscriptions, it now offers but few words the rendering of which is doubtful. And its geographical importance and historical interest alike make it desirable that the student who is not an Assyriologist should possess the text in a trustworthy form. A translation of the introductory lines has been published by Lhotzky, Die Annalen Assurnazirpal's (Munich, 1884), and the whole inscription has been translated by Dr. Peiser in Schrader's Keilinschriftliche Bibliothek (1889), vol. i. pp. 51�.


Inscription Of Tiglath Pileser I (Pages 213-229)

[1] Ashur , the great Lord, ruling supreme over the gods the giver of sceptres and crowns the appointer of sovereignty. Bel, the Lord King of the circle of constellations Father of the gods Lord of the world. Sin the leader the Lord of Empire the powerful the auspiciolus god Shamas the establisher of the heavens and the earth . . . the vanquisher of enemies the dissolver of cold. Vu1 he who causes the tempest to rage over hostile lands and wicked countries. Abnil Hercules the champion who subdues heretics and enemies, and who strengthens the heart. Ishtar , the eldest of the gods the Queen of Victory she who arranges battles.

[2] The great gods, ruling over the heavens and the earth, whose attributes I have recorded and whom I have named the guardians of the kingdom of Tiglath Pileser, the Prince inspiring your hearts with joy the proud Chief whom in the strength of your hearts ye have made firm, (to whom) ye have confided the supreme crown, (whom) ye have appointed in might to the sovereignty of the country of Bel, to whom ye have granted pre-eminence, exaltation, and warlike power. May the duration of his empire continue forever to his royal posterity, lasting as the great temple of Bel!

[3] Tiglath Pileser the powerful king supreme King of Lashanan King of the four regions King of all Kings Lord of Lords the supreme Monarch of Monarchs the illustrious Chief who under the auspices of the Sun god, being armed with the sceptre and girt with the girdle of power over mankind, rules over all the people of Bel the mighty Prince whose praise is blazoned forth among the Kings: the exalted sovereign, whose servants Ashur has appointed to the government of the country of the four regions (and) has made his name celebrated to posterity the conqueror of many plains and mountains of the Upper and Lower Country the conquering hero, the terror of whose name has overwhelmed all regions the bright constellation who, according to his power has warred against foreign countries (and) under the auspices of Bel, there being no equal to him, has subdued the enemies of Ashur.

[4] Ashur (and) the great gods, the guardians of my kingdom, who gave government and laws to my dominions, and ordered an enlarged frontier to their territory, having committed to (my) hand their valiant and warlike servants, I have subdued the lands and the peoples and the strong places, and the Kings who were hostile to Ashur and I have reduced all that was contained in them. With a host of kings I have fought . . . and have imposed on them the bond of servitude . There is not to me a second in war, nor an equal in battle. I have added territory to Assyria and peoples to her people. I have enlarged the frontier of my territories, and subdued all the lands contained in them.

[5] In the beginning of my reign 20,000 of the Muskayans and their 5 kings, who for 50 years had held the countries of Alza and Perukhuz, without paying tribute and offerings to Ashur my Lord, and whom a King of Assyria had never ventured to meet in battle betook themselves to their strength, and went and seized the country of Comukha. In the service of Ashur my Lord my chariots and warriors I assembled after me . . . the country of Kasiyaia , a difficult country, I passed through. With their 20,000 fighting men and their 5 kings in the country of Comukha I engaged. I defeated them. The ranks of their warriors in fighting the battle were beaten down as if by the tempest. Their carcasses covered the valleys and the tops of the mountains. I cut off their heads. The battlements of their cities I made heaps of, like mounds of earth, their movables, their wealth, and their valuables I plundered to a countless amount. 6,000 of their common soldiers who fled before my servants and accepted my yoke, I took them, and gave them over to the men of my own territory.

[6] Then I went into the country of Comukha , which was disobedient and withheld the tribute and offerings due to Ashur my Lord: I conquered the whole country of Comukha. I plundered their movables, their wealth, and their valuables. Their cities I burnt with fire, I destroyed and ruined. The common people of Comukha, who fled before the face of my servants, crossed over to the city of Sherisha , which was on the further banks of the Tigris, and made this city into their stronghold. I assembled my chariots and warriors. I betook myself to carts of iron in order to overcome the rough mountains and their difficult marches. I made the wilderness (thus) practicable for the passage of my chariots and warriors. I crossed the Tigris and took the city of Sherisha their stronghold. Their fighting men, in the middle of the forests, like wild beasts, I smote. Their carcasses filled the Tigris, and the tops of the mountains. At this time the troops of the Akhe , who came to the deliverance and assistance of Comukha, together with the troops of Comukha, like chaff I scattered. The carcasses of their fighting men I piled up like heaps on the tops of the mountains. The bodies of their warriors, the roaring waters carried down to the Tigris. Kili Teru son of Kali Teru, son of Zarupin Zihusun, their King, in the course of their fighting fell into my power. His wives and his children, the delight of his heart I dispossessed him of. One hundred and eighty iron vessels and 5 trays of copper, together with the gods of the people in gold and silver, and their beds and furniture I brought away. Their movables and their wealth I plundered. This city and its palace I burnt with fire, I destroyed and ruined.

[7] The city of Urrakluiras their stronghold which was in the country of Panari, I went toward. The exceeding fear of the power of Ashur, my Lord, overwhelmed them. To save their lives they took their gods, and fled like birds to the tops of the lofty mountains. I collected my chariots and warriors, and crossed the Tigris. Shedi Teru the son of Kh asutkh , King of Urrakluiras on my arriving in his country submitted to my yoke. His sons, the delight of his heart, and his favorites, I condemned to the service of the gods: 60 vessels of iron trays and bars of copper . . . with 120 cattle, and flock he brought as tribute and offerings. I accepted (them) and spared him. I gave him his life, but imposed upon him the yoke of my empire heavily forever. The wide spreading country of Comukha I entirely conquered, and subjected to my yoke. At this time one tray of copper and one bar of copper from among the service offerings and tribute of Comukha I dedicated to Ashur my Lord, and 60 iron vessels with their gods I offered to my guardian god, Vul .

[8] From among my valiant servants, to whom Ashur the Lord gave strength and power, in 30 of my chariots, select companies of my troops and bands of my warriors who were expert in battle, I gathered together. I proceeded to the extensive country of Miltis , which did not obey me it consisted of strong mountains and a difficult land. Where it was easy I traversed it in my chariots: where it was difficult I went on foot. In the country of Aruma, which was a difficult land and impracticable to the passage of my chariots, I left the chariots and marched in front of my troops. Like . . . on the peak of the rugged mountains, I marched victoriously. The country of Miltis , like heaps of stubble, I swept. Their fighting men in the course of the battle like chaff I scattered. Their movables, their wealth and their valuables I plundered. Many of their cities I burned with fire. I imposed on them religious service , and offerings and tribute.

[9] Tiglath Pileser, the illustrious warrior, the opener of the roads of the countries, the subjugator of the rebellious . . . he who has overrun the whole Magian world.

[10] I subdued the extensive country of Subair, which was in rebellion. The countries of Alza and Purukhuz, which deferred their tribute and offerings, the yoke of my empire heavily upon them I imposed, decreeing that they should bring their tribute and offerings into my presence in the city of Ashur. While I was on this expedition, which the Lord Ashur, committing to my hand a powerful rebel subduing army, ordered for the enlargement of the frontiers of his territory, there were 4,000 of the Kaskaya and Hurunaya rebellious tribes of the Kheti who had brought under their power the cities of Subarta, attached to the worship of Ashur, my Lord (so that) they did not acknowledge dependence on Subarta. The terror of my warlike expedition overwhelmed them. They would not fight, but submitted to my yoke. Then I took their valuables, and 120 of their chariots fitted to the yoke, and I gave them to the men of my own country.

[11] In the course of this my expedition, a second time I proceeded to the country of Comukha. I took many of their cities. Their movables, their wealth, and their valuables I plundered. Their cities I burnt with fire, I destroyed and overthrew. The soldiers of their armies, who from before the face of my valiant servants fled away, they would not engage with me in the fierce battle: to save their lives they took to the stony heights of the mountains, an inaccessible region: to the recesses of the deep forests and the peaks of the difficult mountains which had never been trodden by the feet of men, I ascended after them: they fought with me I defeated them: the ranks of their warriors on the tops of the mountains fell like rain: their carcasses filled the ravines and the high places of the mountains: their movables, their wealth, and their valuables I carried off from the stony heights of the mountains. I subdued the country of Comukha throughout its whole extent, and I attached it to the frontiers of my own territory.

[12] Tiglath Pileser, the powerful King, the vanquisher of the disobedient, he who has swept the face of the earth.

[13] In profound reverence to Ashur my Lord, to the country of Kharia, and the far-spreading tribes of the Akhe, deep forests, which no former King (of Assyria) had ever reached, the Lord Ashur invited me to proceed. My chariots and forces I assembled, and I went to an inaccessible region beyond the countries of Itni and Aya. As the steep mountains stood up like metal posts, and were impracticable to the passage of my chariots, I placed my chariots in wagons, and (thus) I traversed the difficult ranges of hills. All the lands of the Akhe and their wide-spreading tribes having assembled, arose to do battle in the country of Azutapis . In an inaccessible region I fought with them and defeated them. The ranks of their (slain) warriors on the peaks of the mountains were piled up in heaps the carcasses of their warriors filled the ravines and high places of the mountains. To the cities which were placed on the tops of the mountains I penetrated victoriously: 27 cities of Kharia, which were situated in the districts of Aya, Suira, Itni, Shetzu, Shelgu, Arzanibru, Varutsu, and Anitku, I took their movables, their wealth, and their valuables I plundered their cities I burnt with fire, I destroyed and overthrew.

[14] The people of Adavas feared to engage in battle with me they left their habitations, and fled like birds to the peaks of the lofty mountains. The terror of Ashur my Lord overwhelmed them they came and submitted to my yoke I imposed on them tribute and offerings.

[15] The countries of Tsaravas and Ammavas, which from the olden time had never submitted, I swept like heaps of stubble with their forces in the country of Aruma I fought, and I defeated them. The ranks of their fighting men I levelled like grass. I bore away their gods their movables, their wealth, and their valuables I carried off. Their cities I burnt with fire, I destroyed and overthrew, and converted into heaps and mounds. The heavy yoke of my empire I imposed on them. I attached them to the worship of Ashur my Lord.

[16] I took the countries of Itsua and Daria, which were turbulent and disobedient. Tribute and offerings I imposed on them. I attached them to the worship of Ashur.

[17] In my triumphant progress over my enemies, my chariots and troops I assembled I crossed the lower Zab. The countries of Muraddan and Tsaradavas, which were near Atsaniu and Atuva, difficult regions, I captured their warriors I cut down like weeds . The city of Muraddan, their capital city, and the regions toward the rising sun, I took possession of. Their gods, their wealth, and their valuables, one soss bars of iron, 30 talents of iron, the abundant wealth of the Lords, of their palaces, and their movables, I carried off. This city I burnt with fire, I destroyed and overthrew. At this time this iron to the god Vul, my great Lord and guardian, I dedicated.

[18] In the might and power of Ashur my Lord, I went to the country of Tsugi, belonging to Gilkhi, which did not acknowledge Ashur my Lord. With 4,000 of their troops, belonging to the countries Khimi, Lukhi, Arirgi, Alamun, Nuni, and al1 the far-spread land of the Akhi , in the country of Khirikhi, a difficult region, which rose up like metal posts, with all their people I fought on foot . I defeated them the bodies of their fighting men on the tops of the mountains I heaped in masses. The carcasses of their warriors I strewed over the country of Khirikhi like chaff. I took the entire country of Tsugi. Twenty-five of their gods, their movables, their wealth, and their valuables I carried off. Many of their cities I burnt with fire, I destroyed and overthrew. The men of their armies submitted to my yoke. I had mercy on them. I imposed on them tribute and offerings. With attachment to the worship of Ashur, my Lord, I intrusted them.

[19] At this time 25 of the gods belonging to those countries, subject to my government, which I had taken, I dedicated for the honor of the temple of the Queen of glory, the great ancestress of Ashur my Lord, of Anu, and of Vul, the goddess who is the guardian of all the public temples of my city of Ashur, and of all the goddesses of my country.

[20] Tiglath-Pileser, the powerful King the subduer of hostile races the conqueror of the whole circle of kings.

[21] At this time, in exalted reverence to Ashur, my Lord, by the godlike support of the heroic "Sun," having in the service of the great gods, ruled over the four regions imperially there being found (to me) no equal in war, and no second in battle, to the countries of the powerful Kings who dwelt upon the upper ocean and had never made their submission, the Lord Ashur having urged me, I went. Difficult mountain chains, and distant (or inaccessible) hills, which none of our Kings had ever previously reached, tedious paths and unopened roads I traversed. The countries of Elama, of Amadana, of Eltis, of Sherabili, of Likhuna , of Tirkakhuli, of Kisra, of Likhanubi, of Elula, of Khastare, of Sakhisara, of Hubira, of Miliatruni, of Sulianzi , of Nubanashe, and of Sheshe, 16 strong countries, the easy parts in my chariots, and the difficult parts in wagons of iron, I passed through the thickets of the mountains I cut down bridges for the passage of my troops I prepared I crossed over the Euphrates the King of Elammi, the King of Tunubi, the King of Tuhali, the King of Kindari, the King of Huzula, the King of Vanzamuni, the King of Andiabi, the King of Pilakinna, the King of Aturgina, the King of Kulibartzini, the King of Pinibirni, the King of Khimua, the King of Paiteri, the King of Vairam, the King of Sururia, the King of Abaeni, the King of Adaeni, the King of Kirini, the King of Albaya, the King of Vagina, the King of Nazabia, the King of Amalziu , the King of Dayeni, in all 23 Kings of the countries of Nairi, in their own provinces having assembled their chariots and troops, they came to fight with me. By means of my powerful servants I straitened them. I caused the destruction of their far-spreading troops, as if with the destroying tempest of Vul. I levelled the ranks of their warriors, both on the tops of the mountains and on the battlements of the cities, like grass . Two soss of their chariots I held as a trophy from the midst of the fight one soss of the kings of the countries of Nairi, and of those who had come to their assistance, in my victory as far as the upper ocean I pursued them I took their great castles I plundered their movables, their wealth and their valuables their cities I burnt with fire, I destroyed and overthrew, and converted into heaps and mounds. Droves of many horses and mules, of calves and of lambs, their property, in countless numbers I carried off. Many of the kings of the countries of Nairi fell alive into my hands to these kings I granted pardon their lives I spared their abundance and wealth I poured out before my Lord, the sun-god. In reverence to my great gods, to after-times, to the last day, I condemned them to do homage. The young men, the pride of their royalty, I gave over to the service of the gods 1,200 horses and 2,000 cattle I imposed on them as tribute, and I allowed them to remain in their own countries.

[22] Tseni, the King of Dayani, who was not submissive to Ashur my Lord, his abundance and wealth I brought it to my city of Ashur. I had mercy on him. I left him in life to learn the worship of the great gods from my city of Ashur. I reduced the far-spreading countries of Nairi throughout their whole extent, and many of their kings I subjected to my yoke.

[23] In the course of this expedition, I went to the city of Milidia, belonging to the country of Khanni-rabbi, which was independent and did not obey me. They abstained from engaging in the rude fight with me they submitted to my yoke, and I had mercy on them. This city I did not occupy, but I gave the people over to religious service, and I imposed on them as a token of their allegiance a fixed tribute of . . .

[24] Tiglath-Pileser, the ruling constellation the powerful the lover of battle.

[25] In the service of my Lord Ashur, my chariots and warriors I assembled I set out on my march. In front of my strong men I went to the country of the Aramaeans, the enemies of my Lord Ashur. From before Tsukha, as far as the city of Qarqamis belonging to the country of Khatte, I smote with one blow . Their fighting men I slew their movables, their wealth, and their valuables in countless numbers I carried off. The men of their armies who fled from before the face of the valiant servants of my Lord Ashur, crossed over the Euphrates in boats covered with bitumen skins I crossed the Euphrates after them I took six of their cities which were below the country of Bisri I burnt them with fire, and I destroyed and overthrew and I brought their movables, their wealth, and their valuables to my city of Ashur.

[26] Tiglath-Pileser, he who tramples upon the Magian world he who subdues the disobedient he who has overrun the whole earth.

[27] My Lord Ashur having urged me on, I took my way to the vast country of Muzri, lying beyond Elammi, Tala, and Kharutsa I took the country of Muzri throughout its whole extent I subdued their warriors I burnt their cities with fire, I destroyed and overthrew the troops of the country of Comani hastened to the assistance of the country of Muzri: in the mountains I fought with them and defeated them. In the metropolis, the city of Arin, which was under the country of Ayatsa, I besieged them they submitted to my yoke I spared this city but I imposed on them religious service and tribute and offerings.

[28] At this time the whole country of Comani which was in alliance with the country of Muzri, all their people assembled and arose to do battle and make war. By means of my valiant servants I fought with 20,000 of their numerous troops in the country of Tala, and I defeated them their mighty mass broke in pieces as far as the country of Kharutsa, belonging to Muzri, I smote them and pursued the ranks of their troops on the heights of the mountains I cut down like grass their carcasses covered the valleys and the tops of the mountains their great castles I took, I burnt with fire, I destroyed, and overthrew into heaps and mounds.

[29] The city of Khunutsa, their stronghold, I overthrew like a heap of stubble. With their mighty troops in the city and on the hills I fought fiercely . I defeated them their fighting men in the middle of the forests I scattered like chaff . I cut off their heads as if they were carrion their carcasses filled the valleys and (covered) the heights of the mountains. I captured this city their gods, their wealth, and their valuables I carried off, and burnt with fire. Three of their great castles, which were built of brick, and the entire city I destroyed and overthrew, and converted into heaps and mounds, and upon the site I laid down large stones and I made tablets of copper, and I wrote on them an account of the countries which I had taken by the help of my Lord Ashur, and about the taking of this city, and the building of its castle and upon it I built a house of brick, and I set up within it these copper tablets.

[30] In the service of Ashur my Lord, my chariots and warriors I assembled, and I approached Kapshuna, their capital city the tribes of Comani would not engage in battle with me they submitted to my yoke, and I spared their lives. The great castle of the city and its brick buildings I trampled under foot from its foundations to its roofs I destroyed it and converted it into heaps and mounds, and a band of 300 fugitive heretics who did not acknowledge my Lord Ashur, and who were expelled from inside this castle , I took this band and condemned to the service of the gods, and I imposed upon the people tribute and offerings in excess of their former tribute and the far-spreading country of Comani throughout its whole extent I reduced under my yoke.

[31] There fell into my hands altogether between the commencement of my reign and my fifth year 42 countries, with their kings, from beyond the river Zab, plain, forest, and mountain, to beyond the river Euphrates, the country of the Khatte and the upper ocean of the setting sun. I brought them under one government I placed them under the Magian religion, and I imposed on them tribute and offerings.

[32] I have omitted many hunting expeditions which were not connected with my warlike achievements. In pursuing after the game I traversed the easy tracts in my chariots, and the difficult tracts on foot. I demolished the wild animals throughout my territories.

[33] Tiglath-Pileser, the illustrious warrior, he who holds the sceptre of Lashanan he who has extirpated all wild animals.

[34] The gods Hercules and Nergal gave their valiant servants and their arrows as a glory to support my empire. Under the auspices of Hercules, my guardian deity, four wild bulls, strong and fierce, in the desert, in the country of Mitan, and in the city Arazik, belonging to the country of the Khatte, with my long arrows tipped with iron, and with heavy blows I took their lives. Their skins and their horns I brought to my city of Ashur.

[35] Ten large wild buffaloes in the country of Kharran, and the plains of the river Khabur, I slew. Four buffaloes I took alive their skins and their horns, with the live buffaloes, I brought to my city of Ashur.

[36] Under the auspices of my guardian deity Hercules, two soss of lions fell before me. In the course of my progress on foot I slew them, and 800 lions in my chariots in my exploratory journeys I laid low. All the beasts of the field and the flying birds of heaven I made the victims of my shafts.

[37] From all the enemies of Ashur, the whole of them, I exacted labor . I made, and finished the repairs of, the temple of the goddess Astarte, my lady, and of the temple of Martu, and of Bel, and Il, and of the sacred buildings and shrines of the gods belonging to my city of Ashur. I purified their shrines, and set up inside the images of the great gods, my Lords. The royal palaces of all the great fortified cities throughout my dominions, which from the olden time our kings had neglected through long years, had become ruined. I repaired and finished them. The castles of my country, I filled up their breaches . I founded many new buildings throughout Assyria, and I opened out irrigation for corn in excess of what my fathers had done. I carried off the droves of the horses, cattle, and asses that I obtained, in the service of my Lord Ashur, from the subjugated countries which I rendered tributary, and the droves of the wild goats and ibexes, the wild sheep and the wild cattle which Ashur and Hercules, my guardian gods, incited me to chase in the depths of the forests, having taken them I drove them off, and I led away their young ones like the tame young goats. These little wild animals , the delight of their parents' hearts, in the fulness of my own heart, together with my own victims, I sacrificed to my Lord Ashur.

[38] The pine, the, . . . , and the algum tree , these trees which under the former kings my ancestors, they had never planted, I took them from the countries which I had rendered tributary, and I planted them in the groves of my own territories, and I bought fruit trees whatever I did not find in my own country, I took and placed in the groves of Assyria.

[39] I built chariots fitted to the yoke for the use of my people in excess of those which had existed before. I added territories to Assyria, and I added populations to her population. I improved the condition of the people, and I obtained for them abundance and security.

[40] Tiglath-Pileser, the illustrious prince, whom Ashur and Hercules have exalted to the utmost wishes of his heart who has pursued after the enemies of Ashur, and has subjugated all the earth.

[41] The son of Ashur-ris-ili, the powerful King, the subduer of foreign countries, he who has reduced all the lands of the Magian world.

[42] The grandson of Mutaggil-Nabu, whom Ashur, the great Lord, aided according to the wishes of his heart and established in strength in the government of Assyria.

[43] The glorious offspring of Ashur-dapur-Il, who held the sceptre of dominion, and ruled over the people of Bel who in all the works of his hand and the deeds of his life placed his reliance on the great gods, and thus obtained a prosperous and long life .

[44] The beloved child of Barzan-pala-kura, the king who first organized the country of Assyria, who purged his territories of the wicked as if they had been . . . , and established the troops of Assyria in authority.

[45] At this time the temple of Anu and Vu1, the great gods, my Lords, which, in former times, Shansi-Vul, High-priest of Ashur, son of Ismi Dagan, High-priest of Ashur, had founded, having lasted for 641 years, it fell into ruin. Ashur-dapur-Il, King of Assyria, son of Barzan-pala-kura, King of Assyria, took down this temple and did not rebuild it. For 60 years the foundations of it were not laid.

[46] In the beginning of my reign, Anu and Vul, the great gods, my Lords, guardians of my steps, they invited me to repair this their shrine. So I made bricks I levelled the earth, I took its dimensions I laid down its foundations upon a mass of strong rock. This place throughout its whole extent I paved with bricks in set order , 50 feet deep I prepared the ground, and upon this substructure I laid the lower foundations of the temple of Anu and Vul. From its foundations to its roofs I built it up, better than it was before. I also built two lofty cupolas in honor of their noble godships, and the holy place, a spacious hall, I consecrated for the convenience of their worshippers, and to accommodate their votaries, who were numerous as the stars of heaven, and in quantity poured forth like flights of arrows. I repaired, and built, and completed my work. Outside the temple I fashioned (everything with the same care) as inside. The mound of earth (on which it was built) I enlarged like the firmament of the rising stars, and I beautified the entire building. Its cupolas I raised up to heaven, and its roofs I built entirely of brick. An inviolable shrine for their noble godships I laid down near at hand. Anu and Vul, the great gods, I glorified inside, I set them up on their honored purity, and the hearts of their noble godships I delighted.

[47] Bit-Khamri, the temple of my Lord Vul, which Shansi-Vul, High-priest of Ashur, son of Ismi-Dagan, High-priest of Ashur, had founded, became ruined. I levelled its site, and from its foundation to its roofs I built it up of brick, I enlarged it beyond its former state, and I adorned it. Inside of it I sacrificed precious victims to my Lord Vul.

[48] At this time I found various sorts of stone in the countries of Nairi, which I had taken by the help of Ashur, my Lord, and I placed them in the temple of Bit-Khamri, belonging to my Lord, Vul, to remain there forever.

[49] Since a holy place, a noble hall, I have thus consecrated for the use of the great gods, my Lords Anu and Vul, and have laid down an adytum for their special worship, and have finished it successfully, and have delighted the hearts of their noble godships, may Anu and Vul preserve me in power. May they support the men of my Government. May they establish the authority of my officers. May they bring the rain, the joy of the year, on the cultivated land and the desert during my time. In war and in battle may they preserve me victorious. Many foreign countries, turbulent nations, and hostile Kings I have reduced under my yoke to my children and descendants may they keep them in firm allegiance. I will lead my steps, firm as the mountains, to the last days before Ashur and their noble godships.

[50] The list of my victories and the catalogue of my triumphs over foreigners hostile to Ashur, which Anu and Vul have granted to my arms, I have inscribed on my tablets and cylinders, and I have placed them to the last days in the temple of my Lords Anu and Vul, and the tablets of Shamsi-Vul, my ancestor, I have raised altars and sacrificed victims (before them), and set them up in their places.

[51] In after-times, and in the latter days . . . , if the temple of the great gods, my Lords Anu and Vul, and these shrines should become old and fall into decay, may the prince who comes after me repair the ruins. May he raise altars and sacrifice victims before my tablets and cylinders, and may he set them up again in their places, and may he inscribe his name on them together with my name. As Anu and Vul, the great gods, have ordained, may he worship honestly with a good heart and full trust.

[52] Whoever shall abrade or injure my tablets and cylinders, or shall moisten them with water, or scorch them with fire, or expose them to the air, or in the holy place of god shall assign them a position where they cannot be seen or understood, or who shall erase the writing and inscribe his own name, or who shall divide the sculptures, and break them off from my tablets,

[53] Anu and Vul, the great gods, my Lords, let them consign his name to perdition let them curse him with an irrevocable curse let them cause his sovereignty to perish let them pluck out the stability of the throne of his empire let not offspring survive him in the kingdom let his servants be broken let his troops be defeated let him fly vanquished before his enemies. May Vul in his fury tear up the produce of his land. May a scarcity of food and of the necessaries of life afflict his country. For one day may he not be called happy. May his name and his race perish in the land.

In the month of Kuzallu , on the 29th day, in the High-Priesthood of Ina-iliya-hallik , (entitled) Rabbi-turi .


Tiglath-Pileser I

Tiglath-Pileser I was one of the most famous and successful of all the kings of Assyria. He reigned between 1115 BCE and 1077 BCE and began his rule during a time of great political and social strife. At this time a group of people known as the Mushki or the Mushku, also known as the Meschech of the Old Testament and possibly the Phrygians were invading Anatolia and was bringing great threat to the cultures of Mesopotamia.

The real threat of the invasion was the threatening of the major iron supply of Mesopotamia which was just beginning to be used widespread at the dawn of the Iron Age. The area of northern Mesopotamia was the only real rich source of iron in the region and thus was of major strategic value for any potential political entity that wanted to equip an army with the latest weaponry and defensive implements.

In addition to defending the civilization against the hordes he also authorized massive building projects all throughout the cities of Ashur, Nineveh, and many others. He built a great library that would later be developed into the Library of Ashurbanipal under the Neo-Assyrian Empire. It is also believed that Tiglath developed a great garden complex that would possibly inspire the later Hanging Gardens of Babylon.

Despite his widespread success his achievements in territory and conquest did not last past the reign of Tiglath-Pileser I and his successors were unable to continue. Following his death the civilization of Assyria entered a period of decline.


Adamu

Mesopotamia (Present-Day Iraq)

Tudiya was succeeded on the list by Adamu, the first known reference to the Semitic name Adam and then a further thirteen rulers (Yangi, Suhlamu, Harharu, Mandaru, Imsu, Harsu, Didanu, Hanu, Zuabu, Nuabu, Abazu, Belus and Azarah). Nothing concrete is yet known about these names, although it has been noted that a much later Babylonian tablet listing the ancestral lineage of Hammurabi, the Amorite king of Babylon, seems to have copied the same names from Tudiya through Nuabu, though in a heavily corrupted form.

Mesopotamia (Present-Day Iraq)


Neo-Assyrian Empire

Map of the Neo-Assyrian Empire and its expansions.

The Neo-Assyrian Empire is usually considered to have begun with the accession of Adad-nirari II, in 911 BC, lasting until the fall of Nineveh at the hands of the Babylonians in 612 BC. Α]

In the Middle Assyrian period, Assyria had been a minor kingdom of northern Mesopotamia, competing for dominance with Babylonia to the south. Beginning with the campaigns of Adad-nirari II, Assyria became a great regional power, growing to be a serious threat to 25th dynasty Egypt. It began reaching the peak of its power with the reforms of Tiglath-Pileser III (ruled 745 – 727 BC). Β] Γ] This period, which included the Sargonic dynasty, is well-referenced in several sources, including the Assyro-Babylonian Chronicles and the Hebrew Bible. Assyria finally succumbed to the rise of the neo-Babylonian Chaldean dynasty with the sack of Nineveh in 612 BC.


The Middle Empire

King Ashur-Uballit, who ruled from c. 1353 to 1318 B.C., succeeded in gathering all former Mitanni regions under his control. He also battled the Hurrians, Hittites and the Kassite king of Babylon. Ashur-Uballit married his daughter to the Babylonian king, angering the Babylonian people. They promptly slew the king and replaced him with a pretender to the throne. King Ashur-Uballit then invaded Babylon, killed the pretender and placed another Kassite royal on the throne. King Ashur-Uballit solidified his power by conquering any remaining Hittite or Mitanni rulers, finally taking control of the entire region for Assyria.

King Adad-Nirari I (1307 to 1275 B.C.) expanded the Assyrian empire in contrast to two proceeding kings who merely maintained control. King Adad-Nirari implemented the policy of deportation of segments of the population from one region to another, which remained a standard Assyrian policy from then on. This policy was meant to head off any uprisings by moving the potentially rebellious to other regions of the Assyrian empire. Although the deportees found their lives disrupted, the Assyrian intention was not to harm the people, but to make the best use of their talents where their skills were needed. The empire moved entire families along with their belongings and provided transportation and food.


Tiglath Pileser I - History

This inscription of Tiglath-Pileser I. is the longest and most important of the early Assyrian records that have come down to us. The genealogical details given in it are of great value for determining the chronology and succession of the earlier monarchs of Assyria, while the description of the campaigns of the king throws a brilliant and unexpected light on the ancient geography of Western Asia. To the geographer, indeed, the care with which Tiglath-Pileser enumerates the countries he overran and the cities he sacked is of inestimable importance. A new chapter has been added to the history of ancient geography, and we now possess a fairly complete map of the districts north and north-west of Assyria before the overthrow of the Hittite power had brought with it revolution and change. We find geographical names of similar form stretching westwards from the neighbourhood of Lake Van to the confines of Asia Minor, together with evidence that tribes like those

of the Moskhi and Tibareni, whose scanty relics in later days found a refuge on the shores of the Black Sea, once inhabited extensive tracts on the slopes of the Taurus Mountains. A new world has, in fact, been opened up to the geographer.

Equally new is the world that has been opened up to the historian. The date of Tiglath-Pileser I can be approximately fixed by the help of an inscription of Sennacherib. On the rock of Bavian (W.A.I. iii. 14, 48-50) Sennacherib refers to "Rimmon and Sala, the gods of the City of Palaces (Ekallati), which Merodach-nadin-akhi, King of Accad, had taken and carried away to Babylon in the time of Tiglath-Pileser, King of Assyria" and he goes on to say that he himself had "brought them out of Babylon 418 years afterwards." As the restoration of the images took place after Sennacherib's destruction of Babylon in B.C. 688, the date of their capture by Merodach-nadin-akhi would be B.C. 1106. The conquests and campaigns described in Tiglath-Pileser's inscription must therefore be placed before this year.

The expeditions of Tiglath-Pileser, however, bore but little fruit. They were not much more than raids, whose effects passed away after the death of the king who conducted them. In a fragmentary inscription of his son and successor, Assur-bil-kala, mention is made of "the land of the west," or Phœnicia, but it is doubtful whether any further campaigns were carried out in this direction. Assyria

fell into a state of decay its frontier cities passed into other hands, and for nearly two hundred years it is hidden altogether from sight. It was not until the ninth century before our era that under the warlike Assur-natsir-pal and his son Shalmaneser II it once more became a name of terror to Western Asia. Tiglath-Pileser I remained the central figure of the older empire, towering above his fellows on the Assyrian throne. When the ancient line of princes became extinct, and the crown was seized by the usurper Pul, the new king knew of no better way in which to legitimise his claim to sovereignty than by assuming the time-honoured name of Tukulti-pal-Esar or Tiglath-Pileser, "the servant of (Uras) the divine son of Esarra."

Though Tiglath-Pileser was not brought into direct relations with Palestine, it is probable that his wars, followed as they were by the temporary decay of Assyria, had much to do with the rise of the empire of David. The wars of Tiglath-Pileser weakened the power of the Hittites in the north, and allowed the small states of Syria to make head against them. For more than a century the latter had no powerful neighbours to fear or court. Egypt had passed under eclipse, and was divided between rival dynasties of kings, while Assyria had equally ceased to be formidable. When David and Joab built up the empire of Israel, there was no strong enemy to oppose and attack them. Hadadezer of Zobah might go "to recover his border at the river"

[paragraph continues] Euphrates there was no Hittite or Assyrian monarch to stand in his way.

The inscription of Tiglath-Pileser I is inscribed on four large octagonal cylinders of clay, originally buried under the foundations of the four corners of the great temple of Kileh Sherghat, the ancient city of Assur, and now in the British Museum and it has been published in the Cuneiform Inscriptions of Western Asia, i. pl. ix.–xvi. In 1857 the inscription was selected for testing the substantial correctness of the method employed by the Assyriologists, and of the results obtained by them. On the proposal of the Royal Asiatic Society, four translations of it, more or less complete, were made independently by Sir Henry Rawlinson, Mr. Fox Talbot, Dr. Hincks, and Dr. Oppert, and submitted under seal to the secretary of the Society. When opened and compared, it was found that they exhibited a remarkable resemblance to one another as regards both the transliteration of proper names and the rendering of individual passages. The resemblance, in fact, was greater than could be accounted for, except on the assumption that the method employed by the decipherers was a sound one, and that they were working on a solid basis. Since 1857 immense advances have been made in our knowledge of Assyrian. Characters whose values were then unknown, and words whose meaning was obscure, are now familiar to the student and a historical inscription like that of Tiglath-Pileser presents

but few difficulties to the Assyriologist of today.

In 1880 the inscription was re-edited and translated with notes and glossary by Dr. W. Lotz under the auspices of his teacher, Prof. Fr. Delitzsch. The translation embodied all the stores of increased knowledge which the incessant labour of twenty-three years had accumulated, and it is only in a comparatively few passages that it can be improved. The English reader may now consider that he has before him the actual words of the old Assyrian king, and can use them for historical and geographical purposes without fear or reservation. The foot-notes will be found to contain all the geographical information at present attainable relative to the localities mentioned in the text.

A word or two must be added on the name of the divinity to whom Tiglath-Pileser was dedicated by his parents. This deity represented the Sun-god primitively worshipped at Nipur (now Niffer) in Babylonia, who afterwards came to be regarded as a sort of Chaldean Herakles. He is the only deity of the first rank whose name is still a matter of dispute. It is generally given as Adar in default of anything better, but the reading is certainly false. According to the monuments he was called Uras in Accadian, and also in Semitic, when regarded as "the god of light." But he was further known in Assyrian as Baru "the revealer," though we learn from a Babylonian text recently discovered in Upper

[paragraph continues] Egypt that his more usual title was Masu, "the hero," a word which is, letter for letter, the same as the Hebrew Mosheh, "Moses." Masu is defined as being "the Sun-god who rises from the divine day." As such he was identified with one of the primæval gods of Accadian cosmology, and so became " the son of Ê-sarra," or "the house of the firmament." See my Lectures on the Religion of the Ancient Babylonians, pp. 151�.


A funny thing happened on the way to Mecca

Historians are beginning to realise that the city of Mecca, Islam’s most holy place,

and thought to have been built by Abraham, was not in fact built until about

the fourth Christian century, some two millennia or so after Abraham!

So, can Islam’s view of history really be trusted?

Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, in his highly prophetic article “Mary and the Moslems” (http://www.ignatiusinsight.com/features2009/fsheen_maryandislam__jun09.asp), will – quite understandably (though differently from my opinion) – take the conventional view that Islam (or “Moslemism”, as he calls it) is a uniquely “post-Christian religion”:

Moslemism is the only great post-Christian religion of the world. Because it had its origin in the seventh century under Mohammed [sic], it was possible to unite within it some elements of Christianity and of Judaism, along with particular customs of Arabia.

Moslemism takes the doctrine of the unity of God, His Majesty and His Creative Power, and uses it, in part, as a basis for the repudiation of Christ, the Son of God. Misunderstanding the notion of the Trinity, Mohammed made Christ a prophet, announcing him, just as, to Christians, Isaias and John the Baptist are prophets announcing Christ.

Here Archbishop Sheen pointed to certain beliefs common to Islam and Christianity, whilst also telling of the notable opposition between the two – the same sort of contrasts that we read about again in the Second Vatican Council’s document Nostra Aetate (# 3), but couched in the Council’s typically more rounded and conciliatory tone:

  1. The Church regards with esteem also the Moslems. They adore the one God, living and subsisting in Himself merciful and all-powerful, the Creator of heaven and earth,(5) who has spoken to men they take pains to submit wholeheartedly to even His inscrutable decrees, just as Abraham, with whom the faith of Islam takes pleasure in linking itself, submitted to God. Though they do not acknowledge Jesus as God, they revere Him as a prophet. They also honor Mary, His virgin Mother at times they even call on her with devotion. In addition, they await the day of judgment when God will render their deserts to all those who have been raised up from the dead. Finally, they value the moral life and worship God especially through prayer, almsgiving and fasting.

Since in the course of centuries not a few quarrels and hostilities have arisen between Christians and Moslems, this sacred synod urges all to forget the past and to work sincerely for mutual understanding and to preserve as well as to promote together for the benefit of all mankind social justice and moral welfare, as well as peace and freedom.

I fully respect the Council’s words which focus upon the commonalities between Christianity and Islam and which urge for mutual respect. Saint Louis Grignion de Montfort (c. 1700 AD), by contrast, bore a more Crusader-like attitude to the Moslems as so typical of his time. Referring once again to the great end-time Marian saints, he wrote: “These are the great men who are to come but Mary is the One Who, by order of the Most High, shall fashion them for the purpose of extending His Empire over that of the impious, the idolaters and the Muslims”.

What is certain, and what Saint Louis himself wholeheartedly believed, is that the ultimate victory of Christianity, defined by the Second Vatican Council in terms of a spiritual, rather than a military, conquest, will belong to the Blessed Virgin Mary. The saint’s confidence in this regard was shared by Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski, the Primate of Poland, quoted by John Paul II in his Testament (# 1): “When victory is won, it will be a victory through Mary”.

She, as Our Lady of Fatima, will play a meaningful part according to Fulton Sheen (op. cit):

Mary is for the Moslems the true Sayyida, or Lady. The only possible serious rival to her in their creed would be Fatima, the daughter of Mohammed himself [sic].

But after the death of Fatima, Mohammed wrote: “Thou shalt be the most blessed of all the women in Paradise, after Mary.” In a variant of the text, Fatima is made to say: “I surpass all the women, except Mary.”

I, whilst indeed accepting at least the religious and the evangelical aspects of things in relation to Islam, find, nevertheless, that there are immense problems with the conventional view of Islam as an historical phenomenon. There are many articles currently surfacing that support a view that the historical claims of Islam are quite false and inaccurate, with no underlying archaeology to support them.

‘A funny thing has happened on the way to Mecca’ – for it is most curious that, according to this recent scholarship:

  • “Archaeology of Mecca – the History of Mecca”. There is no archaeological evidence that suggests that Mecca is an ancient town that existed before the Christian era, or even that it existed before about the 4th century A.D. ….
  • “Did Abraham Build the Kaaba?” The body of this paper will deal primarily with places and destinations, not theology or personality. I will examine the Biblical accounts of Abraham in the natural and sequential order in which they are preserved in the Bible, while I examine and compare a small sampling of the similarities and differences in the Quran and other Islamic sources. In doing so, I’ll point out the several fatal contradictions in the Islamic perspective and leave the reader to determine whether the Islamic version is truth to be believed or fable created to connect a pagan Arabian shrine to the Biblical patriarch of the Israelites. I will cover the ancient evidence and promptly dismember Islamic dogma as inauthentic and based on inadequate grounds. ….
  • “Islam: In Light of History”. Studies by Classical Writers show that Mecca could not have been built before the 4 th D.” There is no mention of Mecca in the writings of any classical writer or geographer. This fact is an important argument against Islam’s claim that Mecca has existed since the time of Abraham. We have complete records of Greek and Roman writers, as well as many geographers who visited Arabia from the 4 th century B.C. through the 3 rd century A.D. Some of these people drew maps of Arabia telling us about every city, village, tribe, and temple existing there, yet none mentioned Mecca. If Mecca did indeed exist at the time of any of these geographers and writers, surely someone would have told us about this city. …. (https://amaicprophetnehemiah.wordpress.com/2014/03/25/296/)
  • “Did Muhammad Exist? An Inquiry Into Islam’s Obscure Origins”. There is, in fact, considerable reason to question the historicity of Muhammad. Although the story of Muhammad, the Qur’an, and early Islam is widely accepted, on close examination the particulars of the story prove elusive. The more one looks at the origins of Islam, the less one sees.…. (http://www.frontpagemag.com/2012/jamie-glazov/did-muhammad-exist-an-inquiry-into-islam%E2%80%99s-obscure-origins/)

Islam’s early ‘Mecca’, where Abraham was, is most likely (in our new context) Jerusalem (Arabic al-Makdis) itself.

Whilst Islam’s ‘Medina’ probably stands for Midian – a name which also got confused as ‘Media’ in copies of the Book of Tobit.

Dr Rafat Amari, writing in “The History and Archaeology of Arabia show that Mecca did not exist before the advent of Christianity”, exposes the falsity of claims regarding Islam’s most venerated site of Mecca (https://amaicprophetnehemiah.wordpress.com/2014/03/25/287/):

The richness of the archaeological findings and inscriptions of many regions of Arabia.

Islam claims that Mecca is an ancient historical city which existed long before Christ, dating as far back as the time of Abraham. A powerful argument against this claim is the absence of any inscriptions found on monuments, or in any archaeological records dating back to those times.

The ancient cities and kingdoms of Arabia do have rich histories which survive to this day through monuments, the inscriptions they bear, and in other archaeological documents. These historical records have given archaeologists a highly-integrated and, in some cases, complete record of the names of kings who ruled these cities and kingdoms. These records have also given archaeologists important information about the history of the wars fought over the kingdoms and cities of Arabia.

In most cases, inscriptions and monuments in various cities – especially in the western and southwestern portions of Arabia – even give the names of coregents who ruled with the kings.

Yet, even with this rich collection of historical and archaeological information, there are no inscriptions or monuments, or other archaeological findings whatsoever, that mention Mecca.

Regarding the richness of the archaeological findings in Arabia, Montgomery says that Assyrian inscriptions did not provide as much detailed information as the Arabian inscriptions did. [1] ….

According to my explanation, admittedly controversial, Islam is essentially an Old Testament religion based upon an original Judaïc matrix – hence it is saturated with, as Fulton Sheen had noted, “elements … of Judaism”. Its difference from Judaïsm, though, lies in the fact that it has been filtered through Arabia – the reason for its now “particular customs of Arabia”.

Obviously, then, we cannot accept that Islam is, as according to convention, a “post-Christian religion [having] its origin in the seventh century” – though it has, in the process of its centuries-long evolution, absorbed, as Sheen rightly noted, “some elements of Christianity”.

According to my previous efforts to determine the biblical origins of the Prophet now claimed by Islam, Mohammed, I had concluded that he was something of a composite scriptural character, including bits of Moses, of Tobit and his son Tobias, of Jeremiah and Nehemiah, and even of Jesus Christ himself. This I do not find surprising considering what I have already described as the long evolution of Islam from its original Judaïc foundations in the Old Testament, and then on through the New.

Most extraordinarily, there was a second Nehemiah, a Jew, supposedly in 614 AD (the era of Mohammed), to whom a Persian general had entrusted the city of Jerusalem – just as “King Artaxerxes”, thought to have been an ancient Persian king, had allowed the biblical Nehemiah to return to Jerusalem and to restore the damaged city. This supposedly later Nehemiah “offers a sacrifice on the site of the Temple”, according to Étienne Couvert (La Vérité sur les Manuscripts de la Mer Morte, p. 98. Translated). “He even seems to have attempted to restore the Jewish cult of sacrifice”. Just like the biblical Nehemiah, another template for Mohammed.

Most assuredly, a funny thing has happened on the way to Islam’s Mecca!


Tiglath-Pileser I, King of Assyria

Tiglath-Pileser I (pron.: /ˈtɪɡləθ paɪˈliːzər/[1] from the Hebraic form[2] of Akkadian: Tukultī-apil-Eᘚrra, "my trust is in the son of Esharra") was a king of Assyria during the Middle Assyrian period (1114� BC). According to Georges Roux, Tiglath-Pileser was "one of the two or three great Assyrian monarchs since the days of Shamshi-Adad I".[3] Under him, Assyria became the leading power of the Middle East, a position the kingdom largely maintained for the next five hundred years. He expanded Assyrian control into Anatolia and Syria, and to the shores of the Mediterranean.[4] From his surviving inscriptions, he seems to have carefully cultivated a fear of himself in his subjects and in his enemies alike.

Contents [hide] 1 Campaigns 2 See also 3 References 4 External links

[edit] CampaignsThe son of Ashur-resh-ishi I, he ascended to the throne in 1115 BC, and became one of the greatest of Assyrian conquerors.[5]

His first campaign was against the Mushku in 1112 B.C. who had occupied certain Assyrian districts in the Upper Euphrates then he overran Commagene and eastern Cappadocia, and drove the Hittites from the Assyrian province of Subartu, northeast of Malatia.

In a subsequent campaign, the Assyrian forces penetrated into the mountains south of Lake Van and then turned westward to receive the submission of Malatia. In his fifth year, Tiglath-Pileser attacked Comana in Cappadocia, and placed a record of his victories engraved on copper plates in a fortress he built to secure his Cilician conquests.

The Aramaeans of northern Syria were the next targets of the Assyrian king, who made his way as far as the sources of the Tigris.[6] The control of the high road to the Mediterranean was secured by the possession of the Hittite town of Pitru[7] at the junction between the Euphrates and Sajur thence he proceeded to Gubal (Byblos), Sidon, and finally to Arvad where he embarked onto a ship to sail the Mediterranean, on which he killed a nahiru or "sea-horse" (which A. Leo Oppenheim translates as a narwhal) in the sea.[8] He was passionately fond of the chase and was also a great builder. The general view is that the restoration of the temple of the gods Ashur and Hadad at Assyrian capital of Assur was one of his initiatives.[9]

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Watch the video: Events of the 730s BC part 1 - The Wars of Tiglath-pileser III (January 2022).